What is it with Illinois and their highway toll areas? The state seems to have sacrificed safety, among other things, in its quest to, of course, save money. Yesterday as I entered the outskirts of Chicago at rush hour on Interstate 55, I took the exit onto 294 north and as I was barreling towards a bank of toll booths with a few dollars ready I found that there were no booths or toll takers, just a bunch of automatic toll areas, either exact change or I pass. I had neither and was not about to start fumbling around to find change with cars barreling behind me. So I drove through an I pass without paying. Why risk my life for 60 cents? or any amount actually? A few miles later, at another toll area, this one with a real live toll taker, I mentioned my previous experience and the toll taker said there is are rear end accidents all the time at the previous toll area due to the poor options.
Sadly it reminded me of stories I did at a Connecticut newspaper in the 1980s on highway safety after a number of bad crashes at toll areas on Interstate 95. And to think that I came to Chicago to write about a then-state-of-the art safely designed highway (the Edens expressway, as I recall.) Not too impressed now!